Author Topic: A History of Time to Come  (Read 1308 times)

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Re: A History of Time to Come
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2021, 03:21:30 pm »
Sokolov walked with a dozen loyal couriers. They weren’t loyal to the company nor Alice, but to the middle aged russian that had given them their new life. His old contacts from his past life had left him with a catalogue of locations and now he’d made his way to one of them. His men followed him into the building and found themselves in an old house, a picturesque living situation for a family of five underneath all the damage.

Walking to the living room Sokolov held his hand out and waited. After a moment one of the men put the sledgehammer in his hands. Twenty minutes later and the men, Sokolov’s Sparrows, pulled the wooden crate free of what remained of the concrete. After a nod from their leader the men opened it and stared at the contents in surprise. Pulling out one of the rifles the first man examined the AK, thankful for his gloves so the old wood didn’t leave splinters. “Soviet?”

Sokolov nodded as he lit his cigarette and walked “Dah, Soviet era. Remnants from ancient plans made by men long dead. Now they will serve us as they once served the men of the red star.”

Carrying the crate out one of the men pointed out the gear needed to be fixed. Sokolov shrugged as he said “That will be taken care of in time. First we get the rest and then we go to the Church for Agmen’s blessing.”

Within the next three hours the men had crates of AKs, Dragunovs, PKMs, SKSs, and a crate of RPG launchers and a large supply of attachments for the guns. From there they made their drive towards the church. Sokolov sat and smoked, smiling as he put together the pieces of his plan. He’d protect his other self’s daughter, and from there he’d do what he could to make things better.

The pair of old military trucks pulled up to the church and stopped. Their thirteen passengers jumped out wearing tan combat gear, a rifle hanging from each man’s sling. Two of them approached the church entrance as the others pulled the cloth off of the back of the trucks revealing the old crates. Sokolov put his cigarette out as he neared the door of the church. He wanted to make a good first impression after all.

The nun that came out of the church wasn’t quite what he’d expected. She wore a habit like those he’d grown up around but hers was stained with grease and machine oil. A belt of tools wrapped around her waist and a bandoleer that looped over her shoulder held parts for machines that she’d been charged to care for. Giving Sokolov a smile she asked “What brings you to the church of Agmen?”

Sokolov returned the smile as he said “I need my weapons blessed, and repaired if possible. I also come with gifts for the church.” As he says this two of his men bring a crate of the old AKs up behind them.

The nun stared for a moment before saying “Oh my. I think I need to go find someone more important than myself to handle this.”

A few minutes later and a trio of nuns were following a man out to the truck. He rushed over and stared at the array of crates as one of Sokolovs men said “We got ten crates of AKs, packed em tight so we got about fifteen per crate. Two crates Dragunovs, three crates PKMs, five  crates SKSs. I’d say we could give the church a crate of AKs, one crate of SKSs, and three Dragunovs and PKMs.”

Sokolov looked at the man, whom he presumed to be a bishop of some sort, and said “I assume the nun told you what I want. My friend just told you what I have to offer.” Picking up one of the old AKs Sokolov examined it “They could function with little work I imagine, but I want to be sure. I know your people value these things as well. I also have offer but that would be for higher ups of the church. For now I assume you can make decision on repairing my weapons.”

After some discussion the Sparrows moved the crates into the church proper and left them for repair. As they walked back to the trucks Sokolov gave out the orders “We’ll start getting questions, unhappy comments, all of it. I want the rest of the postal service moving faster than normal, three day trips are two day right now. I want the Sparrows to split up, take some bikes out and get in touch with some of our friends. Alice has been absorbed in her project too much, and right now we need to keep an eye on the new arrivals. I don’t like hearing my mail trucks are getting pulled over by armored humvees.”

One of the Sparrows asked “And what about our other problem? The fucking hordes of zombies we keep dodging?”

Sokolov shook his head “Solution is in church right now, we’ll do our best to deal with that once we have gear for it.”

The men voiced understanding as they mounted the trucks. The sun was setting as they drove out of Walkerville and back to the Postal Station.  Sokolov had a feeling something was coming and he wanted to be prepared.

Meanwhile three dirt bikes tore through the abandoned highway. The bikes were custom jobs, not the standardized bikes the postal service issued. The rider in the back pulled the Uzi from his jacket and fired at the sprinting zombies chasing them. “One. Two. THREE!” he said as he took out the closest of the zombies.

The trio were in charge of getting a special package back to Walkerville. The run had been fine until they’d run into a horde that had migrated ahead of schedule. “You know I thought the crews were trying to keep this one corralled in that old city a few miles north!”

The second biker tossed a pipe bomb over his shoulder as he responded “Crew must have bit the dust then cause these fuckers sure are hungry!”

The explosion had taken care of a few but the biker bringing up the rear still fired on target after target. As he reloaded the Uzi he added “Well I don’t exactly care about the crew right now. I care about us getting back home with all our limbs!”

The lead turned them off the highway and tossed a bit of bait off to the side as he told them “Shut up you two! We’re Sparrows, we’re gonna make it just fine!”

Thankfully most of the zombies ran after the bait as the trio tore down the road and out into the countryside. The few that were left the man in the rear took out with his Uzi as the lead took them onto a trail in the woods the Sparrows had mapped out and rigged with a few surprises for anyone following them. The trio rode fast through it and out the other side to find more zombies waiting. Coming to a halt they looked at each other. “Guess it’s gotta be the hard way then.”


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Re: A History of Time to Come
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2021, 04:35:29 am »
The Craftpriests of Agmen took in the weapons, put aside their own projects, and set to work one them. Stripping, cleaning, recording in blueprint form, reassembling, and refining like a practiced manufacturing line. Most of the rifles were fine enough but some had not weathered times endless march as well as others. A couple new barrels were turned and a stock replaced. When the Craftpriests were done, the guardians took the weapons and tested them. Sighting in and firing. Making sure each one worked flawlessly before sending them on to be given the final examination.

"Truly fine work." A bishop commented, "The Craftpriests really are a blessing."

"If you believe in that sort of thing." Said another bishop as he packed one of the rifles back into its box with the others while a mouse faced laborer moved to nail it shut.

"How you became a bishop Zachary, I'll never know." Groaned the first bishop.

"It's because Agmen doesn't care if you believe in her or it or... Whatever. It doesn't care. What did you say we got for this work, Len?" Zachary asked.

"The man donated a box of the Kalashnikov's and Carbines along with three of the long rifles and machine guns." Len mused, "I'm... Not sure if he meant three each or three total. Should we assume three each?" Zachary shrugged and ran a hand over a PKM.

"A good haul of slug throwers. I suppose it isn't important where they got them?" Zachary asked. Len looked over the rifles and the stack of rolled blueprints resting on a cart, ready to be taken and filed away in the chapel undercroft. "Lianne is going to want one of these Dragunovs."

"I know. She and her partner have been after Arch-Aegis Hennigan for new rifles for some time. I suppose they've earned them..." Zachary said, nodding.

Len rubbed his chin in thought, then took up the cart. "I don't see why they couldn't. Do me a favor and call them in when you get the chance? And get ahold of Ms. Walker and Mr. Lowe to come take a look afterwords?"

"Of course Zachary. I just hope that Her Holiness, Ms. Walker will forgive your less serious faith."
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Re: A History of Time to Come
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2021, 08:16:19 pm »
"How is your back treating you, Ms. Walker?"

"Like heck. Please Hector, just Catnip. You can't just change to a more formal tone after so much time."

Catnip leaned over her cane and looked over what the chapel had taken in for repairs and what they'd been paid. Russian weapons, old ones. Fine ones. The chapel had neatly packed them back up into new boxes just in time for Catnip and Hector to come and take a look before the fresh new lids were nailed down. Hector shuffled a little uncomfortably at Catnip's request. His station demanded a certain level of courtesy and aplomb that he had grown accustomed to.

"I'm sorry Nip, you know how it is." He apologized.

"Of course. People have expectations of how bigshot schmot guys like us have to behave and some habits die hard. These are good rifles yeah? The chapel is keeping these here, as payment, but we've blueprinted all of them. Does your order need anything like these? We can of course make more of them." Catnip asked in return. Hector looked over the weapons with an eye that had diminished little in it's expertise in the last twenty or so years.

"No, well, yes. But New Paris and the outlying settlements should be taken care of first. My people have plenty to work with as it is. Especially thanks to the mechanics you sent us." Hector said, easing up a bit.

"Oh, that reminds me. How are they? Chase, Maria, and Deids? I heard they'd been making improvements to your armor?" Catnip asked. Hector nodded at that and grinned.

"They're doing well. The armor was a bit stiff during the first few tests, but when it came time to actually use it, it performed like a dream. Or so I heard." Hector told her with a bit of pride. It was Catnip's turn to nod at something and share in Hectors pride. The trio of mechanics Catnip had sent to assist Hectors own aging technician had begun work immediately on improving the exoskeletons used by Hectors heavier units, culminating in the recovery and repair of an S.H. class powered armor. A hulking monstrosity had appeared in a small settlement called Blueville and the Lilith sized suit had been dispatched along with a small group to deal with it. The suit, Catnip and Hector had been informed, had performed beyond expectation by punching the hulks head into its chest cavity.

"Excellence." Catnip said.

"Excell-ent." Hector corrected.

"Either, or." Catnip countered. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other and adjusted the cane so she could run a hand over one of the machine guns. "You should come around to the chapel more often Hec."

"You see me around the farm all the time though." Hector mused, wondering what brought that on.

"No, to the chapel. My people and you're people should have more interaction. I know some of my craftsman can be a bit... preachy, sometimes but still. I think it would benefit the chapel to see how your people are putting the things they make to use, and it would be good for your people to see how some of their gear is made and maintained." She explained. Hector pursed his lips, then grinned. Sure they'd seen each other plenty but had they talked? Really talked? Not really. Mica hadn't talked to him much either, but Mica had been more overt about the disapproval that had spurred on that drifting. Disapproval of what? Disapproval which started the moment it became known that Hector had taken a second girlfriend, and that Roxanne was alright with it. Catnip had coped and moved on, Mica had begun to do the same before she passed, and Kathrine... Kathrine would never approve. Would never even look at Hector's relationships with anything besides thinly veiled distaste. It was a shame that they'd drifted apart in such a way.

"You know what?" Hector said with a clap, "Sure. Why not? I'll arrange to have some of our old equipment brought over and have the men stick around to observe. If that won't get in the way of your peoples workload, that is?"

"That's not what I meant Hec." Catnip laughed, "but I get what you mean. The craftpriest's would be happy to host you."
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
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Yes, little hats for every noodle.
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Re: A History of Time to Come
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2021, 08:35:30 pm »
A lot had happened from this current point in time. A lot of plans Roxanne had had simply didn’t happen; but no one seemed to care or notice, not even the once that involved other people. She had engaged in many other things and helped some people but for some reason that all seemed like a blur. Didn’t really matter, however, as her memory was sharp as ever and whatever this fuzzy feeling was it had gone away now.

Roxanne wondered what Lucy and the gang were up to. Last she saw of them they were camped just outside the fa- walkerville, right. Looking around she notices this wasn’t the place of just a few friends roughing the cataclysm but a rising civilization. She missed the adventure but peace was nice too. Her thoughts wondered back to the previous subject, what about Neo-SoA?

They had probably gone back to the tower. It had surprisingly gone unnoticed by the big factions at play here despite its size and purpose. Guess that fact that most of it was underground helped. Melody had gone with them, Roxanne wondered if she got membership; wondered if she had learned to cope with her “curse”.

That thought brought her back to someone else, Victor; and that in turn the new thing he and Helen were working on. “Wonder how they are going along. I don’t do groups anymore but hey, more power to them.”, Roxanne told herself. Her mind wandered to that little memory curse Victor had and if he had gotten used to it or found a way to fight it back. She had helped get a lot of that back, he at least was able to recognize Helen and their child a while ago and he seemed happy. “Good for you edgelord, you deserve some peace… after all I made you go through. Need another sip!”

To no ones surprised Roxanne was wandering around with a bottle of premium spirit booze drinking straight from the bottle. This one was quite weak but was simple to make. The fact this thing could affect your soul to intoxicate even ghost and spirits would have been a hit if commercialized but Roxanne kept the formula to herself to enjoy; only a few select people new about it.

Yes the carefree spirit walked around drinking and saluting the many working people. Today was a good day all things considered. It was peaceful and quiet until a familiar noise was heard; the handheld two way radio she carried. Roxanne looked at it puzzled before shrugging and answering it. “Hello, Roxanne Eris Luna de Gray speaking!”

There was a slight moment of silence before a deep sigh could be heard. “Seriously? Do you realize how pretentious it is to combine the names of you two into one? What am I saying, you don’t care. Why do I even bother… Anyway, enough of that. This is Victor, need to talk to you ASAP.”

Something was off about all this; Victor didn’t speak like this. Not ever since the incident; no, not where he lost his memories but the one that defined the two of them before the cataclysm even began. Something deep inside Eris’ memories triggered a feeling of uneasiness as this tone and manner of speaking was awfully familiar in a way she didn’t expect to ever hear again.

“Helloooo, why the silence? Did this thing break again?”, Victor asked.

“N-no. Had ours checked a bit ago and it’s in working order. I can hear you clearly.”, Roxanne answered.

Another moment of silence and then he spoke again. “Is that you Eris? I know you are the one speaking now.”

“Yeah, its me… How are you Vic’?”

A small chuckle could be heard from Victor. “Haven’t heard that little pet name in quite a while. So you figured me out huh?”

“Yeah, you are speaking way too casual for my liking. You haven’t been like that ever since… you know… I am sure you can remember now can you?”This time there was a long pause between the two. Eris looked intently at the radio knowing Victor was doing the same.

“Listen, I need to talk to you ok? Come to the woods to that little clearing you like so much, alone… There’s a few things we need to discuss.”

Roxanne stayed silent for a couple moments more before asking her own question. “It’s time isn’t it? Time to have that talk we have been avoiding for over a decade and half… Are you sure?”

“Listen, we have been through a lot this few years. We can’t afford to live in denial for much longer; we have people who care about us now. It’s not like the old days, just you and me against the world. I couldn’t protect you but now I don’t need to. We need to end this Roxanne. We have to.”

The answer was immediate this time, she nodded as she did so. “I know. It’s just so sudden. I’ll be right there so sit tight.”

“Alright, I will… Oh, and Roxanne?”

“Yeah?”, Can you bring me some clothes please?

That caught her off guard. “What do you mean?”

“A little experiment tore my outfit… currently hiding in a bush… please hurry, this is uncomfortable.”

Roxanne gave a hardy laugh at that. Despite everything somethings never change. “I gotcha then. Wonder which dress will look the prettiest on you~”

“I swear to god Roxanne…”

“Which one?”

“All of them! Just shut up and come here!”
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Re: A History of Time to Come
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2021, 09:59:57 pm »
Sokolov had gotten the transmission that his weapons were ready. So after passing security the convoy of trucks sped down the roads of Walkerville and came to a quick halt outside the church. Two dozen men  quickly dismounted, old and rusty rifles on their slings as six of them moved to keep security on the vehicles.

Sokolov, dressed in a dull grey uniform that included a custom made mask that concealed his face, led the rest to retrieve their weapons. Each man’s uniform was adorned with the insignia of the postal service and below that the sigil of the Crows, a protective charm. As one of the nuns approached to enquire about their business, their fast approach having put a few of them on edge as Sokolov saw a few with weapons of their own, Sokolov called out “We’re here to retrieve our weapons. Given the nature and quantity of the package the postal service determined that a grade three secure transport would be the best option. I apologize if our entrance caused any distress.”

The nun waved it off now that they knew who these men were and guided him to where the crates were. His men followed, looking around in awe at the church. Upon reaching the crates two of the men opened one and passed the new rifles around, the men exchanging them for their old and dirty weapons. Once finished each man turned their old weapon over to the church as a gift.

Sokolov’s right hand in the Crows, Dimitri, handed his AN-94 rifle to one of the nuns present and said “Please care for her, saved my life many times in service.”

Elsewhere, in a house overlooking the parking area in front of the church, a man sat idly with his sniper rifle. He slid another round into his magazine as he watched the armed postmen watching their surroundings, unaware of just how far to look out. The man looked over at the body of the abode’s former owner for a moment as he rolled the hard candy ball around his mouth.

Of course he was careful not to break it against his teeth lest he ingest it’s liquid center too soon. After all it’s contents would turn him into a zombie within a matter of seconds and he still had a job to do. So he slid the magazine in and quietly took aim as he sat a few feet back from the window. He hoped the special payload of his munitions would work as intended.

Back inside the church Sokolov and his men carried the crates out and slid them into one of the trucks, tossing a PKM to one of his men. The Crow in question slammed a magazine in and readied the weapon as he climbed into the cab of the vehicle and popped out of the hatch in the roof. The rest finished loading and piled into the trucks. Then the shot rang out.

One of the Crows grabbed the hole in his chest as the others pulled him the rest of the way into the truck. A second later and one of the gunners slid down the hatch and into the cab of the truck as they started to speed away. The third round pinged off the cab of the lead truck as they tore away from the church and down the road.

In the back of the middle truck the injured man started to vomit blood and shake. Dimitri shook his head as he pushed the medic off the man. Pulling him up Dimitri cut the man’s patches off and hefted him to his feet as he started to growl. The truck horns signalled the gate to hurry the fuck up with opening. Which they did, though the guards were surprised to see Dimitri shoot the zombified Crow in the head, letting the body drop onto the bridge as they sped away.

Back in the house the man sighed and leaned back. Standing he walked to the door and quietly rigged it with a quick dissipation smoke bomb. Then he gave a sad smile and rolled the candy between his teeth. He heard the candy crunch in his mouth as it’s liquid center exploded and began the process. Smiling he pulled his handgun to fire off a few rounds just to be sure the neighbours got the towns security to come find him. As the infection took hold he smiled, they'd never know just how he'd become infected, nor about the specialty ammunition he'd used since he'd only brought three rounds. Just as the prophet had planned.

At the same time his two compatriots in the town walked down a street towards the market. The pair had heard the gunshots and knew their brother was dead but still smiled for him. He had succeeded in his mission and would join the changed ones in their enlightened life. They however had a greater mission at hand to sow chaos in this place of civilization. So as they walked the little balls of candy knocked together in their bags waiting for victims to enjoy their surprise.

So they made their way to one of the vendors and smiled at the man. They had spoken previously with the man at great length and had agreed for him to sell their candy at his stall for a cut of the profits. They’d ensured he wouldn’t consume any of them, after all he was a diabetic, but had convinced him they would sell well. So the pair handed the bags over and walked away to go find their little stash of weapons as they sent a radio signal to their last little surprise.

The convoy of course were...well..surprised. Very much so as they finally shoved their zombified gunner out of the window to see a small horde running out of the woods. A horde of people they knew weren’t dead that long ago. A horde that was now running towards them as a group of rifle bearing cultists shot the bullet resistant windows of the trucks.

Two of the men climbed up the hatches with their new PKMs readied, spraying into the mass of undead. Meanwhile Dimitri climbed on top of his truck and began picking off the riflemen, shouting over the radio to keep going and not stop. Which was quite easy for the trucks, though it didn’t stop the undead from jumping up onto the hood. That was met with the gunners leveling their weapons at the zombies climbing up the hood and firing, rounds ricocheting off the armor.

“Motherfuckers! Come get some!” One of the Crow’s shouted as he leaned out the window firing his AK at the Cultists. The first took a shot to the chest, throat, and then through the mouth as the Crow sprayed his rifle at them. The second’s head exploded as he went to throw a grenade, causing it to fall at his dead feet and take out his comrades.

As they mowed their way through the horde that surrounded and chased them the convoy heard it. A transmission that they’d hoped they wouldn’t hear, and one that was being broadcast on an unencrypted line and broadcast over as wide a net as they could. “This is Battalion Six of the Crows stationed at-” static blared for a moment “-city. We have held a horde of zombies within this damned place for the past three years. Now, on this day that started off so beautiful, we send our final broadcast over the open airwaves. Our normal frequency is being jammed in the city. I ask for the forgiveness of those we serve in silence for our failure, as without us this horde will begin to wander and roam until it finds a new place to feast on and destroy. I ask for the forgiveness of my comrades who were relying on us to last another four months before replacement.”

As the gunners ripped into the horde and the Crow’s opened rifle slits to fire into the horde they listened. Listened and feared the consequences of what had happened so far away. The man continued “A section of Battalion Six is holding the line at our HQ where some unknown opposing force has brought the horde. A small group has fled to give a detailed report to our superiors. God be with them. I will pray to my dying breath that the Crows re-establish control of the horde and route it through the city again. Battalion Six commander signing off, thank you, whoever you are, for listening to our last broadcast.”

Sokolov’s vision greyed as he fired relentlessly at the diminishing horde. For the moment all he could feel was hatred. Hatred for the undead, for the few who had ignored his warnings of the hordes his scouts had found, for the men who had sabotaged him time and again throughout his life. Then he was brought back as one of his men pulled him away from the rifle slit he’d been at, telling him they were in the clear. Only a handful of the undead were left roaming the road behind them as they rode home.

Sokolov took a long few minutes to get himself together before standing. Grabbing his encrypted radio he called out to the Crows. “Men, we all heard news. We will stand strong, we will regain control. When the time is right we will find these evil men and kill them. We will destroy them. In the meantime we will continue to rearm, regroup, and move to eliminate the immediate threat. We will repay our newfound enemy for this, so keep this in your hearts my brothers and sisters. When the time comes use it, let your hate and pain fuel the fight.”

The Crows made it clear they agreed and understood over the radio. Then Artyom came over the radio “I will make tools to destroy enemy. Kill them when time comes, until then make them fear us.”

Mila took his radio and Artyom could be heard in the background telling her to give it back as she added “And we’ll make it hurt too!”

Sokolov nodded at the voices of his children. Well, one was his, the other had been the child of his other self. Artyom was his son, an engineering wizard as far as he was concerned. He’d designed the armor of the Crows and some of their more specialized gear. On top of that he was a titan in melee combat, having trained to fight since he was young.

Mila was a shooter like he’d never seen before. Even better when she was sober. Now if he could get her to hold her old AK upright instead of sideways he was sure she’d be the best shooter in the wastes. But that was a fight for another day. Today he would go home and hug his children, hold them tight, and then get ready to kill to protect them. Then he would come home again.

Elsewhere Artyom shoved everything off his workbench and pulled out a fresh blueprint as Mila watched. She adored watching her brother work and wished she could do something even remotely similar. But she wasn’t as smart as him, at least not when it came to making things. So she sat cross legged on his tool bench and watched as he drew out the plans for a new set of armor. A few seconds ago he’d been burning with rage and now he was calmly drawing the blueprint.

Mila shook her head at that and thought she would never really understand her brother. She wanted to get in a truck and go find the bastards, but she knew that wasn’t going to happen today. “Artyom?” Mila said as she handed him another pencil.

“Dah?” He answered, drawing the curved line of a shoulder pauldron. The armor would have to be resilient to the undead and be able to take high caliber rifle rounds. The pauldrons would have to be strong without impeding the motion of the soldier. He would experiment with segmentation and a few other techniques to find the optimal solution.

“Are you okay?” Mila asked as she watched. He stopped for a moment, looking at her over his shoulder. She wondered, as she always had, why he never removed that balaclava of his. She didn’t know what had happened but she’d always wanted to help him.

He looked back at the blueprint and didn’t say anything for a long time. Picking up his pencil again he drew the line of the first plate on the chest, making notes for Molle rigging so they could remove and replace pouches as needed. Then after feeling Mila staring at him he said “I had friends in the sixth. I knew some since childhood. I am not okay.”

Mila was about to say something when Danny opened the door and stared at the two. Mila looked at the concerned look on Danny’s face and back to Artyom before standing up. Giving Danny a smile Mila walked over and patted him on the chest “Glad the surgery went well.” before walking away with the comment “By the way you two should be more subtle if you don’t want command catching on!”

Watching Mila walk away Danny shook his head and walked over to sit on Artyom’s desk, covering his blueprint. Pulling out a bottle of Mezcal Danny said “I brought the drinks, figured you’d want to spend some time calming down. Though that would be easier if we sat on the couch, maybe turned on the tv and found something to watch.”

Artyom looked up at Danny, initially annoyed before letting out a sigh and standing up. Walking over to sit on the couch he wondered what Danny had planned only to be surprised by Danny sitting on his lap after a moment. Leaning over Danny pulled out a pair of glasses from under the coffee table as Artyom turned on the tv.

Some madman had managed to scrounge together a lot of precataclysm recordings, tapes, dvds, and the like and brought it back to the Crows. Now the regular postal service was constructing a broadcast tower network to bring some entertainment back to the apocalypse. So Artyom settled on an old horror movie, Friday the 13th.

Danny meanwhile had poured each of them a drink and leaned back against Artyom. Reaching up Danny pulled Artyom’s balaclava off and set it aside as he said “Interesting choice. Last time we watched a horror movie I fell asleep holding you.”

Artyom looked down at Danny with a grin before picking up his glass and taking a sip. He decided he liked mezcal well enough as the pair watched the movie. Taking another sip he watched the camp councilors act incredibly stupid and leaned back against the couch.

A half hour later and Danny winced as Artyom’s arms wrapped around his chest and pulled him closer. Putting his hand on Artyom’s Danny said “Ow! Still recovering from the surgery Artyom so maybe not so tight?”

Artyom apologized and loosened his grip as the pair sat there looking at each other. Artyom and Danny had met a few years ago as members of Road Crew 13, keeping the major highways clear of the undead. Back then Danny had been a private and Artyom had just been the ‘Commanders kid’. Still, the pair had proven themselves time and again to be brave and loyal to the Crows. Though in recent years Danny would have left if he’d have been able to take Artyom with him. But Artyom had remained loyal to the Crows though if you were to get him drunk, in private, where he knew there were no cameras he’d tell you he was only there to make sure his father and adopted sister were okay, the rest of the postal service be damned.

So Danny stayed, and much like Artyom he worked to ensure the others would return home at the end of the day. But for now he leaned back against Artyom and decided to forget about work. He’d have time enough for work tomorrow after all.